Tag: 2013 Winter Classic

2013 Winter Classic

Was canceling the Winter Classic what CBA negotiations needed?


For some, the cancelation of the 2013 Winter Classic was the worst moment of the lockout.

But could it also be the most important?

Friday’s scrapping of the NHL’s annual outdoor game was met with doom and gloom. The Winter Classic is, after all, the league’s signature regular season event and a television ratings bonanza.

Canceling an event of this nature was significant. In addition to the public relations nightmare and lost viewership, an estimated economic impact of $30-$35 million fell by the wayside.

So too did the Hockeytown Winter Festival and, at the risk of getting all schmaltzy on you, the joy and excitement of the 80,000-90,000 people that had already purchased tickets.

The impact of the cancelation resonated with players. Red Wings defenseman Ian White, who was set to participate in the Winter Classic, said as much to the Windsor Star:

“If [Gary Bettman’s] willing to cancel that, I don’t know why he’d want to play a season after that, because that’s the highlight of the year,” he explained. “So if he’s willing to throw away that game, then the balance of the season, I would think, is definitely on the line.”

Bettman’s reputation precedes him in these instances. This is the third lockout of his 19-year tenure as NHL commissioner, and he remains the only commissioner in North American pro sports to lose an entire season to a work stoppage.

Fear that scrapping the Winter Classic would lead to a canceled season might’ve been very real for players. Perhaps that’s why, during Thursday’s conference call, NHLPA members expressed they wanted their leadership to do more negotiating.

Something else to consider…

We’ve seen past instances where labor negotiations were kickstarted by a significant event — a recent example came during the NFL-NFLRA lockout, which started in June and lasted nearly four full months, with replacement officials working all four weeks of the preseason and 48 regular season games.

Despite both sides appearing entrenched in their respective positions and far from a deal, the work stoppage was solved in 48 hours after a highly publicized incident during Seattle’s 14-12 victory over Green Bay on Monday Night Football.

A controversial, game-deciding touchdown call by a replacement official was roundly criticized — on-air, ESPN color commentator Jon Gruden called it “tragic and comical” — and within days, the regular officiating crews were back working games.

Now back to hockey.

On Friday, the Winter Classic was canceled.

Within 48 hours, the following happened:

— News leaked of the NHL making concessions to its “Make Whole” policy.

— NHL commissioner Bill Daly met with NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr for a lengthy discussion that “covered a lot of ground.”

— Reports surfaced that the NHL and NHLPA were set to resume meetings this week.

All of which begs the question: Did the lockout just have its Golden Tate moment?

Shawn Thornton seems upset about the Winter Classic being canceled

Robyn Regehr, Shawn Thornton

Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton is never a guy afraid to pull his punches both with his fists and his words.

As Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com heard, Thornton is upset about the lockout and the annual Winter Classic being canceled. You might say he’s got an ax to grind with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

“We’re all disappointed that it had to come to the Winter Classic being cancelled. I know that personally I just want to get back to work,” Thornton said. “But (Bettman) makes $8 million a year, doesn’t he? You expect he would have 250 grand kicking around in an ash tray somewhere to keep the Winter Classic alive.”


Obviously the cancellation of the Winter Classic goes a bit deeper than just money. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said “we simply are out of time” regarding the event and there’s plenty of truth to that in spite of the game being two months away.

That won’t stop Thornton from getting a frustrated shot in while he can though.

Wolverines coach Berenson named to Detroit’s Winter Classic alumni roster

Red Berenson

The 2013 Winter Classic will have a decidedly maize and blue feel.

The game will be played at the home of the University of Michigan Wolverines — Michigan Stadium — and now, it’s been revealed the legendary coach of the Wolverines’ hockey team will suit up for the Wings.

According to the Detroit News, Red Berenson — the fifth-winningest coach in collegiate hockey history — will suit up for Detroit when the Wings alumni face the Leafs alumni on Dec. 31 at Comerica Park.

Berenson played 283 games with the Red Wings from 1970-75. In 1971-72 he finished third on the team in scoring (with 69 points), trailing only Marcel Dionne and Mickey Redmond. Redmond will be one of Berenson’s teammates on the Detroit alumni team.

Along with Berenson, the News reported three other additions to the Red Wings squad: Aaron Ward, Jimmy Carson and Dennis Polonich.

Full Rosters (as of 8/16/2012)

Red Wings


Red Berenson, Jimmy Carson, Dino Ciccarelli, Alex Delvecchio, Kris Draper, Sergei Fedorov, Joe Kocur, Martin Lapointe, Igor Larionov, Ted Lindsay, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty, John Ogrodnick, Dennis Polonich, Mickey Redmond, Luc Robitaille


Chris Chelios, Paul Coffey, Mathieu Dandenault, Jiri Fischer, Viacheslav Fetisov, Mark Howe, Vladimir Konstantinov, Larry Murphy, Aaron Ward


Chris Osgood, Mike Vernon


Scotty Bowman, Barry Smith

Maple Leafs


Dave Andreychuk, Wendel Clark, Russ Courtnall, Vincent Damphousse, Bill Derlago, Tie Domi, Ron Ellis, Doug Gilmour, Gary Leeman, Kevin Maguire, Brad May, Lanny McDonald, Gary Roberts, Darryl Sittler, Darcy Tucker, Rick Vaive, Tiger Williams


Dave Ellett, Jim McKenny, Bryan McCabe, Bob McGill


Johnny Bower, Curtis Joseph, Mike Palmateer, Felix Potvin


Red Kelly, Pat Quinn